Work: Since June, I have worked with American groups who come to Peru to do social work as well as tourism. My role consisted of planning activities, translating and making sure everything with the group went smoothly. Some of the activities that the groups did was build a part of a wall for a dining hall in the poor community of Independencia. This work consisted of hard labor and I learned how to mix concrete by hand. While we were in Independencia we also slept on the floor with the YMCA offices. We also took the groups to a orphanage in Lima to play with children. There was a little boy named Mauricio who reminded me of my nephew Luca and I wished I could have taken Mauricio home with me.
Family & Friends: My host family is very kind to me. Manuel, my host-father is a ship surveyor in the port of Callao. He is also a very good cook, this week he made pescado sudado with fish, tomato, onion and tomato sauce, it was delicious. I love the fish here. My host mom works at a bank and she is awesome as well. I also have a host brother, who just got married and a older sister who is married and a sister who is the same age as me. They have embraced me into their family and I truly feel like I'm apart of their family. I also have my church family is awesome. Every weekend, I look foward to go to church. On Saturday night, I go to the youth group (ages range from 14-30) and Sunday morning service starts from 10:30 to 1, small group is from 6-8. The church is called Casa de Oracion. It is such a blessing to worship in another language and hear the same Word of God in another language at a church in another country.
Fun: I was able to accompany one of the American groups to Ica (which is three hours south of Lima). In Ica we saw the Nazca Lines, which are large figures in the dessert that can only be seen by the sky or elevation. The figures that I saw where a tree and a hand. We drove through the Pan-American highway to get there. In Ica we also went to ballestas islands where there were seals and various types of birds. My favorite part of this trip was going to the desert and doing dune buggy and sand-boarding in the desert. We also slept in the desert..brr..it was really cold. Something that I love about Peru, is that there is ALWAYS something to celebrate...dia de pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), fiestas patrias (Independence days) or the day of a saint...we just celebrate Fiestas Patrias and during these days there we did not work...I celebrated at Plaza de Bandera with my family, went to the zoo with my church family and rafting with my friends from work.
Lessons learned: I will begin with what I'm learning about God. God is so creative, this beautiful and diverse country that he created is evidence of how great and creative God is. I´ve also grown so much closer to God, when I feel lonely, angry or frusterated, I turn to Him. I rely on Him everyday to give me strength and being here has made me realize how dependent I´m on him and truly how much He is in control. My spanish has improved tremendously! I love days when I get better and better at speaking. I´m also learning about myself..learning how to be more patient, to communicate better- not only in Spanish but in general, communicate better. There are days and moments when I long for home- and I use that time to turn to God and seek his guidance and enjoy the blessing and opportunity he has given me to be here.
Ok- thanks for reading! I will try to take more pictures and update more frequently. Take care and Dios te bendiga!